Tulsa Golden Hurricane at SMU Mustangs: The Big Three

Mustangs WR Courtland Sutton had 8 receptions for 165 yards and a pair of TDs in a losing effort to the Golden Hurricane on Saturday. Photo Courtesy: Joseph Dowling
Mustangs WR Courtland Sutton had 8 receptions for 165 yards and a pair of TDs in a losing effort to the Golden Hurricane on Saturday. Photo Courtesy: Joseph Dowling

By Zach Walker

This season of SMU Mustangs Football, deserves a new, fresher way of recapping the games. Rather than the drooling, boring full recap of a play-by-play, I’m going to highlight three moments in the game that were most crucial to the outcome.

A Summary of the Tulsa Game: Tulsa 40 – SMU 31
The Mustangs’ needed a win. They need to get some of the positive back behind their sails. The Mustangs played pretty well. No, they really did. They came out firing and focused. They came out like they should have when they exited their bye week before the South Florida game. The Mustangs looked sharp early, but then cooled during the meat of the first half. In the second half, their second turnover really shaped the outcome. The referees used the replays on a couple of goal line stands from the Mustangs’ defense, and ruled the plays touchdowns, though I’d say they weren’t totally convincing. The Mustangs tried late, but came up short, but the effort was there on Halloween day. All in all, a positive effort to build off of.

#1: Third and Nine from the SMU 27 yard line: Since their last first down to this third down play, the Mustangs ran 12 plays for 12 yards. Matt Davis looked left and threw behind the receiver running left, and straight into the bread basket of Kerwin Thomas for the coveted pick-six. For his efforts, Thomas did get popped by the tracking Matt Davis, pretty good but not before getting the points. Matt Davis was either injured on the play or pulled because he did not return for the following drive. The score got a tad skewed after Zach Wood blocked the extra point, and would set up strange “we can win if” scenarios later in the game. The score at this point: Tulsa 16 – SMU 14

#2: Third and Six from the SMU 39 yard line: With Darrell Colbert Jr. in at quarterback, the Mustangs were looking for that spark on offense that been lost since some time in the middle of the first quarter. After being absolutely rag dolled on second down, for a sack, the Mustangs were in danger of having to punt the ball to Tulsa and not responding after the pick six. Colbert looked for the man, Courtland Sutton on a deep out along the Tulsa sideline. The catch was made, but was ruled out of bounds. However, after a lengthy review, the play was ruled a 22-yard catch to the Tulsa 39 yard line. The next play, Colbert pitched the ball to Xavier Jones, and Jones rocketed it downfield to an uncovered Xavier Castille for the go-ahead touchdown. The score at this point: Tulsa 16 – SMU 21.

#3: Fourth and 18 from the Tulsa 16 yard line: After the Golden Hurricane elected to defer to the second half, it was always going to be about how the Mustangs’ came out in the second half. The defense did their job. After giving up a long third down, the Mustangs forced Tulsa backwards, and were set to receive the ball and even if they didn’t do anything with the ball, they could play the field position game. The punt was much better than Deion Sanders Jr. thought it was going to be and had to backtrack the ball on the punt. Sanders misplayed the ball and the ball slipped right through him and the Tulsa coverage team came up with the ball at the SMU 28 yard line. Total deflating moment for a team that couldn’t afford the hiccup. Though the defense forced the Tulsa offense to work for it, in the end, on a third and goal, the Golden Hurricane punched it in from a yard out, even though the replay didn’t clearly show that Caleb Tuiasosopo didn’t stop Zack Langer at the goal line. That muffed punt was the play that crippled the Mustangs. The score at this point: Tulsa 30 – SMU 21.